Two members of the U18 AAA female Central Plains Capitals were recognized for their performances in their season opener last week.
Forward Phoenix Freis was named the Manitoba Female U18 Hockey League's Player of the Week, while Elyse Denbow was given the Goalie of the Week honours.
In the opening contest, the Capitals took down the Pembina Valley Hawks 3-0 and Freis picked up a goal and an assist, while Denbow made 38 saves en route to the shutout. Freis says receiving the award was shocking.
"I was pretty surprised about it because I've never actually gotten an award like that, and that made me pretty excited. It made me feel good and made me feel like I achieved something," Freis continues. "It was cool that my goalie, Elyse, made it too. It was nice to see two Central Plains girls getting those awards."
Freis adds this was a huge confidence boost and notes she's even more excited for the season ahead, knowing what she's capable of. The veteran forward was also named the team's captain for the 2022-23 campaign.
"It really made me feel special. It made me realize that I have something in me that people see that allows me to be a leader. It's nice knowing that I have girls that rely on me and see me as someone they can look up to. It's nice having that support and to be able to support them as a captain."
The 16-year-old put up 14 points in 28 games with the Capitals last season, and Denbow had a 0.910 save percentage and a 9-7-1 record in the 2021-22 campaign. Both of these players are expected to be major contributors to the Central Plains organization all year.
Freis describes how much the team has grown already.
"In the showcase (preseason tournament), we went in ready to play hard. It obviously didn't go our way but I thought (in the season opener) we really improved for only having a couple of practices," Freis continues. "We're a young team but there's a lot of skill involved with this young team. It's kind of shocking but it's something good to see."
The Capitals are looking to remain undefeated this weekend as they play a pair of road games. Central Plains will visit the Interlake Lightning tonight at 7:30 and then head to Winnipeg tomorrow for a meeting with the Avros. The Caps' first home game is set for Friday, October 14, at the BDO Centre.